tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN December 23, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
it's been a pleasure talking to my colleagues from cnn. i hope you have enjoyed it. they will be gone to the next story. it's been a remarkable year. thanks for watching. welcome to the top stories of the year from courtrooms to catastrophes, it was a year of high drama and dramatic change high drama and dramatic change for america and the world. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com it was a year of extremes, terror in the sky, a tragedy on the ground -- >> 911, there is a shooting at the safeway where gabrielle giffords was. >> there were also the
celebrations at buckingham and it all unfolded before our eyes. we mourned. we marvelled at the moments that defined the year. >> not guilty. >> and changed everything. tonight, we look back and "outfront." we begin with the saga of amanda knox, the american exchange student convicted in italy of murdering her roommate. she was vilified by the press, but insisted she was innocent, and said on appeal that the dna evidence would prove it. and the trial lasted for months as a pale and frail knox waited for her fate, and waited for the verdict to be read. the appeal was successful and the conviction was overturned and she sobbed, lighting up the
world to fly home to start her life over. shortly after, i spoke to her dad, curt knox. >> how is amanda doing? >> well, it she is doing remarkably well, and she has not missed a beat with the family, and that is nice to see. >> how is she handling her adjustment? >> well, she is adjusting and reconnecting with the family and friends and sisters and so on and so forth, so it seems to be really working out favorably right now, and hopefully it will continue in that direction. >> it sure does. has she thought, and it seems almost obscenely early to ask, does she plan to go back to school, or has she thought at all about what she might do next? >> well, you know, with this whole circumstance, and what she experienced i think that at some point in time down the road, she going to be some type of an activist for wrongfully
convicted people, and, you know, she does want to finish her degree through the university o washington. it is a matter of, you know, when that gets to work out and, you know, how she continues to progress. >> well, we all hope that she does. it is an amazing story. i wanted to ask you one more question, curt, if i could. >> sure. >> there is a report that her stepfather asked her old boyfriend to seattle, and obviously, he is someone who knows what she went through and he was in prison as well. are they still communicating with each other at all? >> well, yeah. they actually sent mail back and forth while they were in there, in prison and in their incarceration, and you know, they have stayed in contact, and it is a true statement that they were invited to come to seattle, the family, and rafael is going through the same thing as amanda and needs to get reconnected. at some point in time, they may come over and that would be nice to see. >> thank you, curt, for speaking with us, and your time is more
valuable than ever and we hope to hear from you again and good luck. >> thank you very much for having me. and from the international murder trial, we head back home to the number 10 story of 2011, the massive and deadly tornado that destroyed joplin, missouri. it happened in may. the tornado, one of the most powerful ever recorded, an ef-5 on that scale, and it swept across the city. a twister that obliterated nearly everything in the path. buildings and homes reduced to rubble and entire neighborhoods gone. lives were lost. more than 150 people died. but then, incredible stories of hope and survival. thousands of americans from around the country came to joplin to pitch in and rebuild. we talked to the mayor about life since that tornado. mayor mike wallston, thank you for being with us.
>> you're welcome. >> what do you remember most from that day? >> i guess the thing that i remember most, erin, is the amount of destruction. the event happened before 6:00 on a sunday evening and by the time i was notified and got down to the emergency operations center, i spent the rest of the evening and all night there. and at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning the city manager and the fire chief and i went out to get a visual assessment of the damage and the power was out and you could not see anything other than the headlights of the vehicle. so as you drove down the streets that you had driven down 20 years, you could recognize the house from the corner or maybe the second house from the corner, but you virtually felt like you were in a place that you were not in before, because all of the landmarks were gone. >> and how does it look now? how far have you come? >> it is different. we have the debris cleaned up by august 7th, and everything on the ground, and we have started the demolition process and
worked through that, the buildings that could not be rehabilitated economically or uninhabitable from a safety standpoint. >> how are some of the families? i know you have spent time with them, the people who died, and one of the worst national disasters that we have ever had. >> i guess the families are coping. i think that we were terribly fortunate, even though you talk about the destruction and the loss of life that we did, we could have easily in my mind had maybe 1,000 or 2,000 deaths if the storm had veered south and hit the second hospital, our high school public class was just graduating and if they had the event at the high school rather than the university, the high school was totally demolished. and that could have easily been 1,000 to 1,500 folks there. and if it was a monday in the day time rather than sunday evening, we had a couple of
other school buildings destroyed, one being an elementary and another school building less than two years old, and the students in those buildings if it had come at a different time or the storm took a different path, we could have had devastating loss of life. >> truly amazing american story. thank you mayor mike woolston for being with us. >> you are welcome. coming up on this special edition of "outfront," the royal wedding. we will take you to the day in london when kate became princess katherine. i watched. you probably did, too. and what the end of the mission in iraq means. and the courage and triumph of gabby giffords and the young man who saved her life comes out front as the topics and stories that changed our life in 011. i can't figure out what to get for my husband.
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for a hot dog cart. my mother said, "well, maybe we ought to buy this hot dog cart and set it up someplace." so my parents went to bank of america. they met with the branch manager and they said, "look, we've got this little hot dog cart, and it's on a really good corner. let's see if we can buy the property." and the branch manager said, "all right, i will take a chance with the two of you." and we've been loyal to bank of america for the last 71 years.
welcome back "outfront" for 2011. we start out the beginning of the year with amanda knox and the devastating tornado in joplin, missouri. now, number nine. this was watched live by 2 billion people on tv, and people including me and likely you. i remember watching princess diana's wedding. well, it was a love story with a lot of pomp and circumstance and everybody loved it. the beautiful day in may. we are talking of course of the royal wedding and the moment that kate became a real princess. here are the highlights of what was really an unforgettable day.
the little girl was doing that, it was a great day. from the royal wedding we turn now no the number eight story of the year, and although this is one that actually began nearly nine years ago. that's the war in iraq. earlier this month, that mission came to an official end for the united states of america. 4,487 service members were killed in the war. it's now technically over, but the cost and the consequences will be with us for years if not decades. twice as long as america's involvement in world war ii and just as polarizing as vietnam, the mission in iraq will be debated for generations to come. it started with bombs over baghdad. shock and awe is what it was called. saddam hussein was toppled and executed. for eight years, eight months and 26 days, americans served their country and many paid the ultimate sacrifice.
more than 4500 american troops died and it's believed that 100,000 iraqis perished in the war. on december 15th, the battle came to an official end with a ceremonial casing of the colors. for the troops, a message of honor and courage. >> you will leave with great pride, lasting pride, secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the iraqi people begin a new chapter in history. >> but was the mission accomplished? some military experts say the u.s. left too soon. >> in my judgment, we could have used the next few years training and developing the iraqi security forces so that the security forces so that the hard-won gains soldiers have achieved would be permanent and not speculative. >> and that is all anyone can
do, speculate what can happen in iraq next, speculate, following nine long years of fighting. dick cheney was the vice president when the war began and he defended the war criticizing president obama about how he has handled iraq and the middle east. >> if you look at the broader area out there, we are now in a situation where we are pulling troops out of iraq, period. no stay behind forces. and he is trying to accelerate the withdrawal from afghanistan after putting in a surge basis and taking them out early. it looks like a u.s. withdrawal from the region and you add to that the fact that the iranians are actively pursuing nuclear weapons, i think it depresses the presence and leverage and it will significantly alter our position in that part of the world, and i believe that is a mistake. the number seven story of the year is one that was hard to imagine at first.
remember the wall of water triggered by a earthquake measuring 9.0, and that was the picture of the tsunami that destroyed japan businesses like toys. and it created a nuclear crisis for the country, fukushima. thousands perished in the disaster and the scenes were hard to believe. they are the images that we will never forget from this year. >> oh, my god. that is the biggest earthquake to date. it is still going. oh, my god, the building's going to fall! [ screaming ]
and next on this special "outfront," the remarkable story of survival of gabby giffords and the intern who cradled her head in his hands coming up next. and the casey anthony trial and what some considered the trial of the decade. and the ieverything, the genius of steve jobs, the life and the legacy. that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru and $250 goes to your choice of 5 charities. with your help, we can reach $20 million dollars by the end of this, our fourth year.
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we are counting down the top stories of 2011 tonight. there were a lot to consider. we made our choices, but we want to know yours as well, so let us know what you think were the biggest stories of the year. you can go to our facebook page or of course on twitter, and let us know. there may be ones that we didn't think of. but we are up to number six right now. she may not call herself a hero, but gabby giffords we can all agree is that. woman marked for death by an assassin and going about her daily life as a public servant and now a symbol of hope around the world. giffords, the morning began as a official meet and greet, but then it turned to horror. there were gunshots that left six dead, including a 9-year-old. giffords was in critical
condition and at the time, there were conflicting reports as to whether she was alive or dead. she was rushed to the hospital and surgeons operated for hours to save her life. her recovery was nothing short of remarkable. and four months after that tragic day, giffords was flown to florida to watch the launch of the space shuttle "endeavour" which was commanded by her husband mark kelly, and then in an unexpected and emotional return to washington, giffords returned to the house floor to vote on the debt ceiling, and there she was when everybody was taken aback. her condition continues to improve. she is someone we are all going to be watching. we want to go back now to that day in january when giffords was clinging to life. by her side, the one who rushed to stop the bleeding was daniel hernandez, an intern in her office and many credit him for saving her life and doing the opposite of what people told him to do. they said to run away from the shots, but he ran towards them
and toward her. i spoke to daniel hernandez about the shooting and his future. >> all right. daniel, thank you so much for coming to tell your story. >> thanks for having me. >> it is a story that fascinates so many people, and when i started to read about you and i read every piece i could not stop either. but tell me again what you remember happening that day. >> you know, january 8th is a day that i think will be something that i will always remember and those of us in tucson, arizona, will remember for a really long time. i was helping the congresswoman as an intern. at that point, i was actually managing the line. so every person, every victim who passed away or who was injured, i had a conversation with, because i was letting people in as they came in. ten minutes into the event, and
being 30 to 40 feet away from where the congresswoman was, we ended up hearing the shots fired and someone yelled "gun." i dropped what i was doing and went to the front of the line, because i knew if people were injured, it would likely be the front of the line where the congresswoman would be. i got to the congresswoman, and she was shot once in the head, and still alert. she was still conscious, and i used my bare hand at this point, because i didn't have any other tools to try to stop the blood loss as much as possible until the emergency medical services arrived. and i stayed with the congresswoman, talking to her, keeping her alert until the emergency medical services were cleared to come into the scene. >> i know that you have people have talked about you as a hero and you have said, i'm not a hero a lot of times. i guess i know it is hard to say that about yourself, right. you can't sit here and say that. >> it is hard to disagree with the president, but i am doing it. >> it is. it is amazing what you have done and you have spoken to her a couple of times since then and what did you talk about? >> well, they have not been lengthy conversations, and we have not had the opportunity to see her, and the last time i saw
her was january 8th as we left the ambulance because i rode with her from the site to the trauma center. and the last time i saw her, she was carted in, but for eight hours, i was under the impression that she had been passed away, because i was sequestered to be questioning by the authorities and the last thing i heard was a nurse come out after gabby went in and they said she was dead. they took me away to a separate area, because they didn't want me to hear something from the nurses or passing by and that changing the quality of the testimony that i would give to the authorities. >> so, how has this changed your life? i know you were there and one of the things that speaks even more, because this is not at the moment that you knew someone well, because you had just started to be an intern, and this was the instinct to go? >> well, i had been working in 2008 for a legislator in her congressional district, and there is by no means a close
relationship from that point, but it is someone i admired, but it didn't matter at that point. but the thing that was most important for me was to do the thing that i could do the most amount of people. >> do you see a career of politics for you? >> heck no. i have enjoyed the role i have had, but however, being 21, i have no idea what i will be doing in the next six months, let alone the next six years or ten years, but i know i will help others. and whether that is an advocate to do lobbying like i have on higher education or k-12 education or running for office, i don't know what it really holds in the future, but i know that for right now, i am content exactly where i am. there is too much politics on the school board and i can't imagine going any further than that. >> thank you, daniel, so much.
>> just an amazingly inspirational story of someone choosing to go into public service and make a difference. and next is casey anthony, did she get away from murder? and the violent end of a brutal dictator. and remembering the visionary, as the stories of 2011 come back "outfront." [ male announcer ] tom's discovering that living healthy can be fun. see? he's taking his vitamins. new one a day vitacraves plus omega-3 dha is a complete multivitamin for adults. plus an excellent source of omega-3 dha in a great tasting gummy. one a day, gummies for grown-ups.
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headlines of 11. and number five, casey anthony, one of the most talked about and shocking stories was that of the young florida mother. casey is a free woman who now lives in hiding and perhaps fear. the question remains, did she kill her daughter, caylee? the prosecutors said that the evidence proved she did and for weeks, millions of americans, and i mean millions and millions were glued to every sten of this trial -- every step of the trial on the televisions, and the trial played out until a dramatic ending.on the televisi trial played out until a dramatic ending.on the televisi the trial played out until a dramatic endintrial played out dramatic ending. she is one of the most despised women in america, accused of killing her daughter, caylee, but in a verdict that stunned the country, acquitted of the crime. the story began in 2008 with a chilling 911 call from caylee's grandmother. >> 911, what's your emergency? >> i have found out that my granddaughter has been taken and missing for a month and my daughter finally admitted she had been -- >> casey said that her daughter
had been abducted by a nanny, but police did not believe her and charged her with murder. two months later, caylee's remains were found near the family home. three years later, what some call the trial of the decade began, and with casey facing a possible death penalty if convicted. >> casey anthony lived the good life. at least for those 31 days. >> the testimony was shocking, with accusations of incest. >> sir, i never would do anything like that to my daughter. >> experts claimed that casey put caylee's body in her car. >> did you immediately recognize the odor that was emanating from the piece of carpet in the car? >> i would recognize it as human decomposition. >> was she a loving mother or cold-blooded killer? in the end, the defense said the jury has to weigh the evidence. >> you have to have an abiding conviction to convict. >> as to the verdict of count one, we, the jury, find the
defendant not guilty, so say we all, dated in orlando, orange county, florida, this 5th day of july, 2011, signed by the foreperson. >> outside, crowds responded in shock and anger, and in a few days casey walked out of jail a free woman, but facing a reality that many believe that she got away with murder. >> 2011 brought us casey anthony. but it leaves us without steve jobs who died in october. the passing of steve jobs is the fourth story in the 11 to '11 countdown. an innovator who ushered in the computer age and he turned apple into apple. the part of apple that is part of our lives. he showed us the power and reach of great ideas. >> today, apple is going to reinvent the phone. >> steve jobs changed the world one touch at a time. >> you can do multifingered gestures on it.
>> he is the visionary of black turtleneck and levis and whose genius identified the digital age. >> amazing and the screen literally floats in midair. >> born to syrian parents and put up for adoption, he was a progeny and college dropout and he started apple in his garage with steve wozniak. >> we say they will get there, but get there through the garage door. >> he made computers business-friendly, but as a businessman he was forced out of apple, but only to return as a ceo to return with a stunning second act. that began with music. >> we are calling it -- >> that was followed by the iphone and then the ipad. >> it is just like this. >> and jobs became an icon. in a commencement speech at stanford university, he shared his passion with a younger generation. >> you have to trust in
something, your gut, destiny, karma or something, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart when it leads you off of the well worn path and that will make all of the difference. >> public achievements for the modern-day edison were extraordinary, but in private, jobs was battling pancreatic cancer. >> i want to talk about the iphone. >> he appeared thin and had a liver transplant. >> this is the new macbook air. >> eventually, the disease forced him to step down as apple ceo. in october, and with his family around him, jobs died. he was 56 years old. news of the death spread instantly on the very devices he invented. >> everything that i used, the computer at work, and the computer at home, and the iphone and the ipad and there is not
anybody out there who doesn't touch an apple product on a daily basis. >> it is a lasting legacy. so, do you think that america is still a place that will come up with the next google? the next apple? it's a question on a lot of people's minds when they are reflecting on steve jobs and his creative ingenuity gone forever? >> america is the best innovator today in the world, and that will continue. we have 18 of the top 20 research universities, and it is still possible for a couple of graduate students and a faculty member to invent something to change the world. >> a system that changed the innovation of the world, thanks to steve jobs. well, next, the top three stories of 2011. one of them is the end of moammar gadhafi, but do you know what the others are? we will unveil them next.
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we are back with the look of our top 11 stories of 2011. it is a big mix of headlines. the acquittal of casey anthony, the tsunami in japan and the courage of gabby giffords, but we are now up to number three, the arab spring and the awakening that just spread across the mideast like wildfire. i was in tunisia in early january when the protesters first took to the streets. the clashes were bloody and deadly, but they ended with a revolution. the president fled the country and the transition was relatively peaceful. i was in egypt for the uprising
and these are pictures that i took in cairo that led with a few people and then led to a massive protest. that is one of the things i remember, the mass prayers in the center of tahrir square, and thousands of people, even small children, demanding change and vowing to stay until mubarak was gone and there was a lot of violence there until he was overthrown. and then libya and the violent overtaking of the brutal dictator. i began asking the author of "the new york times" about it. a lot was made of how he came up out of that pipe if not killed executed style, but what do you think happened? >> i think he was executed. i think it is appalling. we won't have any success convincing most libyans that it
was an atrocity. there will be more human rights argument, and we have seen it in egypt with the military behaving that mubarak is not mubarak, but i think that there will be more of it and it will gradually dissipate and i hope so. >> you have spent time in bahrain. >> it breaks my heart, because it is the place where the government most ruthlessly and really broke the back of the democracy movement, and it is our ally. here we are, and correctly protest human rights abuses in iran and syria and libya, and this is our ally doing this with our weapons. >> and let me ask you about that, because they tried to say, look, we are coming out of, this and we are going to reform the monarchy, and we are going to
put out a human rights report, and say negative things about what we did, and we are transparent and everything is fine. since that report came out, you went back to bahrain and what happened? >> well, they arrested me. and i should say detained me. there is no doubt that the king has made some real reform at the margin, and the report was a real thing. they have eased a hair, but at the end of the day, this is still a despotic regime refusing to provide anything close to free elections and daily firing tear glass at peaceful protesters and these are american tear gas shells fired everyday. occasionally killing people. >> so where do we go from here? what happens next? i mean, when you look at at the overall arab spring and you have case of bahrain and egypt which is so full of hope, and now has a lot more economic despair than before and a lot of uncertainty where the democracy will yield something that the west likes or really doesn't like. what do you think happens? >> well, i mean, it is fashionable to focus on all of the messes all over there, and it is true that democracy is messy, but i really think that this year is going to go down in
history that the 1776 and 1789 which were the historic years of america and france and 1989 for eastern europe. and i think that 2011 is going to be the same kind of historic year for the arrival of unpredictable, messy, and problematic democracy. >> look at washington if you want to see how problemt aic and messy it can be. >> yes, the voters are going to choose the wrong people, and think are doing it right now with the support of the islamist parties in egypt, but absolutely, we do it in the u.s. but it is more problematic for the u.s., but at the end of the
day, they are less problematic than before. >> and so you are optimistic? >> optimistic that we will be facing a new kind of problem that are better than the old kind of problem. >> and what about syria, because that is the big question mark out there. >> i should confess that i have changed my mind on that. i used to think that the regime could stay in power and essentially for the biggest part, but if the regime is willing to shoot its people that it will stay on top, and the problem in egypt and tunisia is that the army would not shoot people, and in syria, it is. that is enough for assad to stay in power, but at this point, saudi arabia and turkey are determined to have assad leave, and they will have their way and maybe a coup d'etat, and what is increasingly looking like a civil war, i don't know. >> well, nick christoph, thanks as always. great following you. >> thank you. and there are some places in the middle east that are immune to regime change and among them saudi arabia and the gulf states. recently i traveled to dubai to speak to the leader of dubai and the prime minister of the united arab emirates who shareded his thoughts on the revolutions sweeping the mideast. d his thoughts on the revolutions sweeping the mideast his thoughts on the revolutions sweeping the mideast. b thoughts on the revolutions sweeping the mideast
thoughts on the revolutions sweeping the mideast. what is your view of the arab spring? >> ah, arab spring. well, i have said in 2004, i have said, please change your regime, because -- >> you were talking about the arab government. >> yes, the arab government i am saying. and the arab spring is the people who waited for a long time and some governments are saving themselves and the people, and the people want to work, and they want to something. and the other day i spoke and i said that we start the arab spring 40 years ago and it is still spring going ahead in the united arab emirates. >> we will see what happens in the united arab emirates and the rest of the middle east in 2012, but now we are up to the second biggest story of 2011, the death of bin laden. the terror mastermind of the
9/11 attacks of course, and the blood of thousands of american lives on his hands. bin laden had eluded justice for years, that is, until may 1st when the navy s.e.a.l.s elite team six tracked him down in islamabad, pakistan and killed him. the navy s.e.a.l. takes us through his own words of how the group took out the most wanted man on earth. and he talks about the choppers approaching the compound, and remember, this all unfolded as break-neck speed. >> the helicopters went into a hover to provide sniper cover throughout the entire compound. the lead helicopter landed successfully on the roof of ben laden's residence, and then it happens as fast as it takes me to tell you.
the doors came back and the s.e.a.l.s jumped on to the back door, and then on to the roof of the terrace and from there the sliding glass doors were open and surged down the hallway, and bin laden's head body guard, his son, 21 years old, bounded up the stairs, and he was shot and killed on the third floor landing, and the door to the hallway popped open, and bin laden sticks the head out, and calmly slams the door, and then the s.e.a.l.s called geronimo, which means i have seen the target. the s.e.a.l.s set up on the door, and kicked it in. and within the space of four seconds, bin laden shoved his wife at the assaulters, and two shots were fired and one was a miss. one grazed bin laden's leg, and then the next two shots were fired. one struck him in the head and killed him. the other one struck him in the heart. the time on the target is 90 to 100 seconds. >> this is incredible.
we have gone through 10 of the 11 biggest stories of 2011. so what is number one on our list? well, that is next. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go see your doctor now. it's easy to see what subaru owners care about. that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru and $250 goes to your choice of 5 charities. with your help, we can reach $20 million dollars by the end of this, our fourth year.
will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. welcome back to 11 for 11. the biggest stories of 2011. we are at number one, that is the economy. from wall street to main street, the topic that continues to drive the conversation. it is the issue that matters most to everyone. what we have seen, how lawmakers in washington promise to make jobs and spend all their time fighting with one another. we haven't gotten much done there. the economy is front and center. it's playing the biggest role in the race for the white house.
let's bring in our guests. andy, john and jim. okay. the economy. >> yeah. >> lots of disappointments from washington. eight close to government shutdowns and a debt ceiling debacle and a downgrade. >> the first half of the year, we had hope. we got into the summer, then the impasse over the debt ceiling. washington really, totally, totally blew it, undermining confidence in the economy. the result was the downgrade by s&p. first time it happened in the united states. what a total debacle. >> the disfunction in washington, right? >> right. the economy is going to continue to be the top story next year. whether or not washington can
help or hurt the economy through tax cuts, through spending bills, through at least giving clarity beyond the next week. it's going to be a big deal. right now, we don't have any of that. >> i like that, clarity beyond the next week. >> that's what we have been missing. we have short-term political thinking instead of long term thinking of the national interest. the political saw, people vote their wallet. it's a lot bigger now. the economy determines the psychology of the nation. what we have seen from washington is a fiscal crisis compounded by political crisis. it's made competitors around the world govern. that's where it's getting scary. >> jim, do you think we are at risk of another recession called a double dip or a triple dip that worried me because we haven't had the double one yet. is it merited? >> yes, it is. if you go back, the recession ended june 2009. this is the weakest recovery we
have had in 40 years. we never got the economy going in any way, shape or form. now, you have gridlock in washington, a slow economy. a potential crisis in europe, a slowdown in china. there's a lot of cross-current that is the economy is not ready to handle. if we were growing strong, unemployment low, we could look past a potential slowdown in china. right now, those things could capsize our economy as we move into 2012. >> he uses the word capsize. the europe situation is huge. china is actually now, there have been small stumbles. right now, the world is resting on china. >> that's true and it's scary because we are relying on this giant superpower with little transparency. so far, they propped us up because they have been allowing the consumer part of their economy to expand. they are consuming goods as opposed to exporting. if they hit the fan, people are concerned about real estate there. if that's trouble, the whole world is in a world of hurt. >> it underscores. think about the impact of a double-dip recession. if it goes down further, it's
devastating to the president's re-election. this raises interesting questions about the limits of sovereignty in our ear. the president has limited control. his political fortunes are tied to things he can't control directly. >> just thinking here about the jon corzine situation. biggest bankruptcy since lehman brothers. it didn't cause the banking system to capsize. we handled it. you have jon corzine here, we don't know what's going to happen. the former ceo of goldman sachs. no one is going to jail. you have real frustration and an us versus them conversation going on. >> people are concerned.
on the left about fairness. people are concerned about responsibility on the right, that's the tea party. there's a lot of angst, uncertainty, fear. what's underlying it all? the economy and the inability of politicians to face it, handle it and take charge. >> look what's going on with the republican candidates. there's so much uncertainty of who is going to get it. >> jim, can this economy handle what a lot of people think might happen? john is one of them, a kick the can down the road congress all the way through the election. no major policy gets done, no big bills get passed, can we handle that economically? >> i don't think we can. the economy is not really generating the job growth that it needs to. yes, people are leaving the work pool. unemployment is coming down. we are growing at what economists call the potential. while we look domestically, the story in 2012 is what could happen foreign to us. europe is a problem unresolved and could get worse for them and could affect us here. china, the slowdown there could affect us, too.
the president might be looking at what's happening in the economy. congress looking at what's happening in the economy, then all of a sudden something from overseas comes and the game is changed. we are not ready for it. >> let me ask you to wave the magic wand. if you could wave a magic wand and one thing would happen in 2012 that would change our economy, what would it be? >> in europe, the domino standing back up. each economy picking up and fear of a crisis in the euro zone. that's not going to happen. bipartisan and long-term plan to deal with the deficit and the debt. >> you are going for a grand bargain? i guess i did say magic wand. >> that's what needs to be